Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anatomy lessons from a 2-year-old

Recently overheard:

"I don't have testicles. Octopuses have testicles."

"Boys have a penis. Girls have a lunchbox."

Monday, September 27, 2010


Seven years ago today, I made some crazy vows to this guy. Honestly, I don't even remember what they were, but I think there was something about baking him fresh bread weekly and not protesting 50-inch televisions. Boy have those come back to haunt me.

But in return, I've gotten a few perks. A really funny, really hunky husband, for instance. And one who's an incredible dad to our kids.

Evidenced by the fact that I couldn't find a single picture of him without a child attached to him.

There's also been the unwavering support, the love, the adventure, the forgiveness, the good grammar, the clean laundry (yes, ladies, he does laundry), and, of course the 50-inch television.

And I'd say that's worth more than all the fresh loaves of bread in the world.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stop what you're doing

And go make this tastissimo chickpea, greens, and tomato dish. Modifications:
  • Didn't de-crust the bread (blasphemy). I used the heel of my favorite new whole-wheat sandwich loaf, and it was yum.
  • Mixed in a good 1/2 tsp. or so of smoked paprika at the end instead of just sprinkling a bit on top. 
  • Added a bit of cinnamon.
  • Used beet greens instead of spinach.
  • Cooked down some fresh garden tomatoes (seeds, skins, and all) and used those in place of jarred tomato sauce. 
  • Served over couscous. 
Have I mentioned that it's crazy tasty? Go ahead. Cook now, thank later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Public opinion poll

Where do you draw the line with clothing (or lack of clothing) with pictures of your kids? I'm talking little kids here. Is it no shirt, no shoes, no posting? Or do you allow a little more skin?

As you can see from this blog, I keep the kids' nekked pictures to myself, but that's not because a) they don't exist, or b) they're not abso-flipping-lutely adorable. Both my kids love to be in their most natural state, but I tend to err on the side of safety with photo posting in consideration of a) pervos and b) future embarrassment for the children.

What has me asking this question? It's the fact that I'm sooooooo tempted to share all the rest of the photos in this series:

But I'll probably tuck them away in a safe place. Like the PowerPoint I'm putting together for her high school graduation party.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Filed under: Phrases I never imagined I'd utter

"When you find trash on the floor, will you please put it in the trash and not your sister's mouth?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

Aptly named. Today I made two quiches, two loaves of bread, two homemade pizzas, seven cups of yogurt, and our first batch of tomato sauce from the garden. This after Saturday's great canning-fest, during which my friend and I preserved 41 jars (!!!) of strawberry jam.

I'd say I labored sufficiently.

We also had a lovely bike ride today—our first family ride with Sidamo pulling his own weight. He lost his training wheels a couple of weeks ago, and today was his first street ride. It was wonderful—Nora had the bike trailer to herself, which meant far less pinching, hitting, pulling, screaming, and threats of time-outs. It was so peaceful, in fact, that Nora stretched out and took a nap as the rest of us burned calories.

Sidamo is amazing on his bike. It took no time at all for him to learn how to ride without training wheels, and since then he's been riding every day—with very few falls, and much bravery on the rare occasions he funds himself under his bike instead of on it. We're very proud of him, and one of these days I'll relax enough to stop clutching my chest at every bump in the road and instead take some pictures of our little road warrior.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy first birthday, lil' cuz

The littlest cousin turns 1 this week, and we joined him for a lovely birthday celebration today.

For the record, he used to be this tiny just a blink ago.

Happy birthday, little guy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oh right …

There is a flip-side to predictable daycare. On day 4 of school, Nora had to stay home for her first sick day. Poor girl is miserable and wants to do nothing other than sit in the Ergo yelling at people.

Here's hoping she feels better in time to attend day 5.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Local living

It's only been two days, but I'm going to go ahead and say that this new schedule/daycare arrangement is a smashing success. For the past 2+ years, I have figured out daycare for Nora week by week. At times it has felt like a full-time job, piecing together part-time care for my little lovely. We've had the great fortune of not having to put her in any sort of a full-time care situation—between friends, babysitters, a great little drop-in daycare center in our old 'hood, and Greg's wonderful, fantastic, fabulous, and awesome mama, we've been pretty well covered.

For all those people, I am incredibly grateful and forever in debt.

And still … Having regular, predictable schedules for both of my kids—and having both of them within a mile of home (!!!)—has been absolutely life-altering for me. To illustrate …

What my days used to look like:
  • Leave the house with both kids at 8:30 and drive across town to get to Sidamo's school by 9
  • Go from Sidamo's school to Greg's mom's house in one of the western suburbs (in the opposite direction of our new house) and drop Nora off there
  • Head to a coffee shop to work, arriving around 10.
  • Duck into my car for phone meetings. Even in 100-degree weather.
  • Leave the coffee shop around 3:30 to get Nora from grandma's and start the trek back east and north to get big brother.
  • Drive back home, usually arriving around 5:30.
  • Scramble to figure out what to make for dinner.
In other words, I'd spend 10 hours getting around 5 hours of work done, and I'd get home frazzled and frustrated.

In contrast, here's what yesterday looked like:
  • Left the house of 7:25 to get Nora to school at 7:30. Greg dropped Sidamo off at school before heading to work (easy, since his school is 7 blocks away).
  • Got back home at 7:45 and worked until almost 11, when I left to pick up Nora.
  • Had a nice lunch with Nora at home, put her down for her nap, and got some more work done. 
  • Left at 2:55 to pick Sidamo up at 3, and then came home to play and ride bikes with all the neighborhood kids until Greg came home, at which point we ate the delicious baked garden tomato pasta I had prepared earlier during a little work break. Also prepared during little breaks throughout the day: homemade yogurt, bread, and granola.
And I still got about 5 hours of work done. Yep, I think I'll be getting used to this.